CHRISTOFF, BORIS The Mighty Boris. EMI Icon 11cds

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Christoff Boris The Mighty Boris Emi Icon 11Cds

BORIS CHRISTOFF

Icon: Boris Christoff

Modest Mussorgsky 1839–1881

CD 1

1 Where art thou, little star? (Grekov) 4.26

2 The Joyous Hour (Kol’tsov) 1.58

3 Tell me why 2.32

4 The leaves rustled sadly (Pleshcheyev) 3.37

5 I have many palaces and gardens (Kol’tsov) 2.55

6 What are words of love to you? (Ammosov) 1.52

7 King Saul (Byron trans. Kozlov) 3.05

8 Old Man’s Song (Goethe trans. Mussorgsky) 2.50

9 But if I could meet thee again (Kurochkin) 3.09

10 The winds blow, the wild winds (Kol’tsov) 4.24

11 Night (after Pushkin) 3.07

12 Little Kalistrat (Nekrasov) 4.37

13 Belearic Song 3.15

14 Prayer (Lermontov) 3.07

15 The Outcast: Essay in Recitative (Holz-Miller) 2.50

16 Cradle Song (Sleep, sleep, peasant son) (Ostrovsky) 5.39

17 Dear one, why are thine eyes sometimes so cold (Pleshcheyev) 2.49

Alexander Labinsky piano (1–3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11–17) - Gerald Moore piano (4)

Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / George Tzipine (7, 10)

Recorded: 25.IV.56 (1), 5.IV.55 (2, 3), 6.IV.55 (5), 29.VI.1955 (6, 12), 30.III.1957 (7), 30.III.1955 (8),

4.IV.1955 (11), 20.III.1957 (13), 23.IV.1956 (14) and other dates between III.1955 and IX.1957

(4, 9, 10, 15, 16), Salle de la Mutualité, Paris, except 3.III.1951 (4), No.3 Studio, Abbey Road, London.

Producers: René Challan except Walter Legge (4) - Balance engineers: Walter Ruhlmann, Pierre Saint,

Roger Ducourtieux except Harold Davidson (4)

CD 2

1 Longing (Heine trans. Mey) 2.33

2 Gopak (Shevchenko trans. Mey) 2.27

3 Darling Savishna (Mussorgsky) 1.12

4 The Seminarist (Mussorgsky) 3.43

5 Hebrew Song (Mey) 2.48

6 The Magpie (Pushkin) 1.51

7 Gathering Mushrooms (Mey) 1.14

8 The Feast (Kol’tsov) 2.10

9 The Ragamuffin (Mussorgsky) 1.54

10 A Society Tale: The Goat (Mussorgsky) 2.24

11 A garden blooms by the Don (Kol’tsov) 1.56

12 The Classicist (Mussorgsky) 2.46

13 The Orphan (Mussorgsky) 2.18

14 Child’s Song (Mey) 1.10

The Nursery (Mussorgsky)

15 I. With Nurse 1.40

16 II. In the corner 1.33

17 III. The Beetle 2.13

18 IV. With the Doll 1.35

19 V. Going to sleep 2.00

20 VI. On the Hobby-horse 3.09

21 VII. The Cat ‘Sailor’ 1.56

22 Eremushka’s Lullaby (Nekrasov) 3.45

23 The Gallery (Mussorgsky) 13.16

24 Evening Song (Pleshcheyev) 1.20

25 Forgotten (Golenishchev-Kutuzov) 2.17

Alexander Labinsky piano (1, 3–25)

Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / George Tzipine (2)

Recorded: 29.VI.1955 (1), 25–26.III.1957 (2), 18.III.1957 (3, 8), 20.III.1957 (4, 5), 30.III.1955 (6),

4.IX.1957 (7, 15), 3.V.1956 (9), 27.VI.1955 (10, 11), 30.III.1955 (12), 29.III.1955 (13), 23.IV.1956 (14),

5.IX.1957 (17–19), 6.IX.1957 (20), 29.III.1955 (22), 24.IV.1956 (23), 28.VI.1955 (24)

and other dates between III.1955 and IX.1957 (16, 21, 25), Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineers: Walter Ruhlmann, Pierre Saint & Roger Ducourtieux

CD3

Sunless (Golenishchev-Kutuzov)

1 I. Within four walls 1.52

2 II. You did not know me in the crowd 1.03

3 III. The useless, noisy day is ended 3.36

4 IV. Ennui 1.50

5 V. Elegy 3.45

6 VI. On the river 3.47

Songs and Dances of Death (Golenishchev-Kutuzov) (orch. Glazunov & Rimsky-Korsakov)

7 I. Trepak 5.32

8 II. Lullaby 5.29

9 III. Serenade 5.08

10 IV. The Field-Marshal 6.03

11 Epitaph (Mussorgsky) 3.08

12 The Misunderstood One (Mussorgsky) 2.19

13 Not like thunder, trouble struck (Tolstoy) 2.25

14 Softly the spirit flew up to heaven (Tolstoy) 2.27

15 Is spinning man’s work? (Tolstoy) 1.47

16 It scatters and breaks (Tolstoy) 2.15

17 The Vision (Golenishchev-Kutuzov) 2.41

18 Pride (Tolstoy) 1.49

19 The Wanderer (Rückert trans. Pleshcheyev) 1.16

20 On the Dnieper (Shevchenko trans. Mey) 4.55

21 Mephistopheles’ Song of the Flea (Goethe trans. Strugovshchikov) 3.27

Alexander Labinsky piano (1–6, 11–20)

Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / George Tzipine (7–10, 21)

Recorded: 6.IV.1955 (1), 28.VI.1955 (2), 27.IV.1956 (4), 2–3.V.1956 (5), 8.IV.1955 (6), 29.III.1957 (7),

27.III.1957 (8, 10), 28.III.1957 (9), 30.IV & 2.V.1956 (11), 26.IV.1956 (12), 30.VI.1955 (13, 16), 31.III.1955 (14),

4.IV.1955 (15), 25.IV.1956 (17), 27.VI.1955 (18, 19), 20.III.1957 (20), 30.III.1957 and other dates between

III.1955 and IX.1957 (3), Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineers: Walter Ruhlmann, Pierre Saint & Roger Ducourtieux

CD 4

Mikhail Glinka 1804–1857

1 The Night Review (Zhukovsky) 4.53

2 Cradle Song (Kukol’nik) (A Farewell to St. Petersburg No.5) 4.43

3 Why do you cry, young beauty (Del’vig) 3.46

4 Where is our rose? (Pushkin) 1.33

5 The Lark (Kukol’nik) (A Farewell to St. Petersburg No.10) 2.39

6 Ah, my sweetheart, thou art a beautiful maiden (Folksong) 2.32

7 Doubt (Kukol’nik) 4.37

8 The maids once told me, grandfather (Del’vig) 2.23

9 How sweet it is to be with you (Rindin) 2.36

10 Say not that it grieves the heart (Pavlov) 2.11

11 Hebrew Song (Kukol’nik – A Farewell to St. Petersburg No.2) 1.39

12 Do not tempt me needlessly (Baratynsky) 3.37

13 I recall a wonderful moment (Pushkin) 3.43

Gaston Marchesini cello (2, 4, 7, 12) - Alexander Labinsky piano

Recorded: 12, 18–21.VI. & 10.X.1962, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Walter Ruhlmann P 1963/1992*

Alexander Borodin 1833–1887

14 Those folk (Nekrasov) 3.35

Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux / Georges Tzipine

15 Song of the dark forest (Borodin) 3.20

16 From my tears (Heine trans. Mey) 1.33

17 The Sea Princess (Borodin) 2.41

18 The pretty girl no longer loves me (Vinogradov) 3.18

19 The Magic Garden (‘Septain’ by Collin trans. Borodin) 2.37

20 Arabian Melody (trad. trans. Borodin) 2.20

21 The False Note (Borodin) 1.36

22 Das schöne Fischmädchen (Heine trans. Kropotkin) 1.20

Maud-Martin Tortelier cello (22) - Alexander Tcherepnin piano

CD 5

1 Listen to my song, little friend (Kruse) 4.02

2 The Sleeping Princess (Borodin) 5.11

3 Pride (Tolstoy) 3.34

Maud-Martin Tortelier cello - Alexander Tcherepnin piano

4 For the shores of thy far native land (Pushkin arr. & orch. Glazunov) 3.32

Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux / Georges Tzipine

5 The Sea (Borodin) 3.17

6 Why art thou so early, dawn? (Solov’yov) 2.41

7 My songs are poisoned (Heine trans. Mey) 1.39

Janine Reiss piano (5) - Alexander Tcherepnin piano (6, 7)

Recorded: 3–10.1966 & 23.X.1967, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan • Balance engineer: Paul Vavasseur P 1969/1992* EMI Music France

César Cui 1835–1918

Vingt poèmes de Jean Richepin Op.44

8 XII. Le Hun: ‘Vole, o cavale folle!’ 1.23

9 I. Berceuse: ‘Dors, mon fieux, dors’ 4.05

10 V. Le ciel est transi 2.29

11 XIX. Les Songeants: ‘Dans le pays on les appelait les Songeants’ 3.18

12 Ici-bas Op.54 No.5 (Sully-Prudhomme) 2.43

13 La tombe et la rose Op.32 No.3 (Hugo) 2.28

14 The love of a dead man Op.5 No.2 (Lermontov) 3.06

15 Lately a dream Op.5 No.3 (Pushkin) 2.11

16 Pardon! Op.5 No.5 (Nekrasov) 1.49

17 Desire Op.57 No.25 (Pushkin) 2.24

18 Plea Op.55 No.6 (Pushkin) 3.43

19 Mary’s song: There was a time Op.55 No.2 (Pushkin) 4.42

20 The Imprisioned Knight Op.55 No.7 (Lermontov) 3.13

21 Album Leaf Op.86 No.20 (Lermontov) 2.21

22 The Prophet Op.55 No.8 (Lermontov) 3.38

23 The Statue at Tsarskoye Selo Op.57 No.7 (Pushkin) 1.36

24 In memory of V.V. Stasov: ‘No, he is not dead!’ Op.86 No.24 (Klark) 2.30

Janine Reiss piano (8–13) - Serge Zapolsky piano (14–24)

Recorded: 17–26.X & 6–7.XI.1967, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Paul Vavasseur P 1969/1992* EMI Music France

CD 6

Mily Balakirev 1837–1910

1 Prologue (Mey orch. Tcherepnin) 3.32

Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux / Georges Tzipine

2 Song of Selim (Lermontov) 2.02

3 The yellow leaf trembles (Lermontov) 2.41

4 The Pine-Tree (Lermontov after Heine) 2.18

5 Nocturne (Khomyakov) 4.35

6 Starless midnight coldly breathed (Khomyakov) 4.42

7 The Putting-right (Mey) 1.12

8 7th November (Khomyakov) 4.44

9 Dawn (Khomyakov) 2.48

10 Hebrew Melody (Lermontov after Byron) 2.01

11 The Wilderness (Zhemchuzhnikov) 3.17

12 The Knight (Vil’de) 2.21

13 The Dream (Lermontov) 4.02

14 Look, my friend (Krasov) 2.14

Alexander Tcherepnin piano

Recorded: 20–31.III & 23.X.1967, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Paul Vavasseur P 1969/1992* EMI Music France

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov 1844–1908

15 The Pine and the Palm Op.3 No.1 (Heine trans. Mikhaylov) 3.03

Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / André Cluytens

16 On the hills of Georgia Op.3 No.4 (Pushkin) 2.24

17 The Messenger Op.4 No.2 (Heine trans. Mikhaylov) 1.49

18 Quietly evening falls Op.4 No.4 (Fet) 2.13

19 Hebrew Song Op.7 No.2 (Mey) 2.49

20 Zuleika’s Song Op.26 No.4 (Ruelle after Byron) 2.09

21 Across the midnight sky Op.40 No.2 (Lermontov) 3.14

22 I waited for thee in the grotto at the appointed hour Op.40 No.4 (Maykov) 2.51

23 The sea is tossing Op.46 No.3 (Tolstoy) 1.39

Alexander Labinsky piano (16–18) - Nadia Gedda-Nova piano (19)

Serge Zapolsky piano (20–23)

Recorded: 4, 7.II.1963 & 7–10, 13–14.I.1964, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Paul Vavasseur P 1964/1992*

CD 7

1 The Upas Tree Op.49 No.1 (Pushkin) 5.36

2 The Prophet Op.49 No.2 (Pushkin) 4.52

Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / André Cluytens

3 Quiet is the blue sea Op.50 No.3 (Maykov) 1.04

4 Slowly drag my days Op.51 No.1 (Pushkin) 2.59

5 Withered Flower Op.51 No.3 (Pushkin) 3.19

6 The rainy day has waned Op.51 No.5 (Pushkin) 6.28

Serge Zapolsky piano

Recorded: 4, 7.II.1963 & 7–10, 13–14.I.1964, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Walter Ruhlmann P 1964/1992*

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840–1893

7 Don Juan’s Serenade Op.38 No.1 (Tolstoy) 2.45

8 The mild stars shone for us (Pleshcheyev) 3.34

9 Child’s Song Op.54 No.16 (Axakov) 1.59

10 Night Op 60 No.9 (Polonsky) 4.41

11 Cradle Song Op.16 No.1 (Maykov) 3.27

12 Night Op.73 No.2 (Rathaus) 3.29

13 Do not ask Op.57 No.3 (Strugovshchikov after Goethe) 3.01

14 As they reiterated: ‘Fool’ (Mey) 1.28

15 At Bedtime Op.27 No.1 (Ogaryov) 3.43

16 Deception Op.65 No.2 (Gortchakova after Collin) 3.02

17 The Canary Op.25 No.4 (Mey) 4.01

18 None but the lonely heart (Mey after Goethe) 3.11

19 Again, as before, alone Op.73 No.6 (Rathaus) 2.30

20 Legend: When Jesus Christ was but a child Op.54 No.5 3.12

(Pleshcheyev from an English source)

Gaston Marchesini cello (8, 12, 18) - Alexander Labinsky piano

Recorded: 28–30.IX, 1–8.X.1959 & 5–7.IV.1960, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Walter Ruhlmann P 1992*

CD8

Sergei Rachmaninov 1873–1943

1 Fate Op.21 No.1 (Apukhtin) 7.02

2 How beautiful it is here Op.21 No.7 (Galina) 1.56

3 We met yesterday Op.26 No.13 (Polonsky) 3.41

4 Vengeful God has taken everything Op.26 No.2 (Tyutchev) 0.45

5 Morning Op.4 No.2 (Yanov) 2.31

6 All things pass away Op.26 No.15 (Rathaus) 1.44

7 I pray for mercy! Op.26 No.8 (Merezhkovsky) 1.23

8 Christ is risen Op.26 No.6 (Merezhkovsky) 2.50

9 Fragment from Musset: Loneliness Op.21 No.6 (Apukhtin) 2.09

10 Georgian Song: Sing not to me, beautiful maiden Op.4 No.4 (Pushkin) 4.09

11 The Dream Op.8 No.5 (Pleshcheyev after Heine) 1.27

12 The Soldier’s Wife: I have grown fond of sorrow Op.8 No.4 (Shevchenko) 2.24

13 The Harvest of Sorrow Op.4 No.5 (Tolstoy) 4.01

14 Oh no, I beg you, do not leave Op.4 No.1 (Merezhkovsky) 2.04

15 Everyone loves you so Op.14 No.6 (Tolstoy) 2.32

16 The night is mournful Op.26 No.12 (Bunin) 2.17

Alexander Labinsky piano

Recorded: 1–6, 8.IX.1958, Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Producer: René Challan -Balance engineer: Walter Ruhlmann P 1992* MONO

Popular Russian Songs

17 The Evil Power (Serov) 4.34

18 Dubinushka (trad. arr. Potorjinsky) 4.57

19 Bandoura (trad. arr. Potorjinsky) 3.25

20 Along Peterskaya Street (trad. arr. Labinsky-Tchernoyarov) 2.07

21 Going down the Volga (trad. arr. Alexandrov) 3.35

22 Notchenka (trad. arr. Potorjinsky) 5.21

Feodor Potorjinsky Russian Choir - Balalika Ensemble (17, 20)

Recorded: X.1954, Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Producer and balance engineer: unknown P 1992* MONO

CD 9

Modest Mussorgsky

Boris Godunov (rev. Rimsky-Korsakov)

1 Pimen’s Monologue (Act 1) 5.45

2 Varlaam’s Drinking Song (Act 1) 2.35

3 Boris’s Monologue (Act 2) 6.37

4 Boris’s Farewell and Prayer (Act 4) 7.14

5 Death of Boris 4.38

Khovanschina (compl. Rimsky-Korsakov)

6 Dosifei’s Aria (Act 5) 6.26

7 Song of the Flea (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov) 3.14

Alexander Borodin

Prince Igor (compl. Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov)

8 Prince Galitsky’s Aria (Act 1) 3.50

9 Khan Konchak’s Aria (Act 2) 7.24

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

10 Song of the Viking Guest (Sadko, Scene 4) 3.47

11 Prince Yuri’s Aria (The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Act 3) 4.25

Pyotr llyich Tchaikovsky

12 Prince Gremin’s Aria (Eugene Onegin, Act 3) 4.54

Traditional

13 Song of the Volga Boatmen 4.27

14 The Siberian Prisoner’s Song 4.18

Modest Mussorgsky

Songs and Dances of Death (Golenishchev-Kutuzov) (orch. Glazunov & Rimsky-Korsakov)

15 No.4: The Field Marshal 4.54

16 Softly the spirit flew up to heaven (Tolstoy) 3.18

Royal Opera Chorus (5) - Philharmonia Orchestra

Nikolai Malko (1) -Herbert von Karajan (2)

Issay Dobrowen (3–10, 13) - Wilhelm Schüchter (11, 12)

Gerald Moore piano (14–16)

Recorded: 3.XII.1949 (1), 28.XI.1949 (2), 19–20.V.1949 (3–5), 4.V.1950 (6, 10), 8.VI.1950 (8),

5.V.1950 (9), 19.III.1952 (11, 12), No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London; 3.III.1951, No.3 Studio, Abbey Road,

London (14–16); 5.X.1950, Kingsway Hall, London (7, 13)

Producer: Walter Legge • Balance engineers: Arthur Clarke (1, 3–5), Douglas Larter (4, 6–13), Harold Davidson (14–16)

CD 10

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756–1791

1 Madamina! Il catalogo è questo (Don Giovanni, Act I) 5.32

Philharmonia Orchestra / Wilhelm Schüchter

Recorded: 17.III.1952, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London

Producer: Walter Legge - Balance engineer: Douglas Larter P 1995*

Christoph Willibald Gluck 1714–1787

2 O Diana, dea spietata (Iphigénie en Aulide, Act I) 6.16

Philharmonia Orchestra / Anatole Fistoulari

Recorded: 6.III.1951, Kingsway Hall, London

Producer: Walter Legge • Balance engineer: Douglas Larter P 1995*

Vincenzo Bellini 1801–1835

3 Ite sul colle...Dell’aura tua profetica (Norma, Act I) 10.12

4 Il mulino!...Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni (La sonnambula, Act I) 4.58

Coro e Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma / Vittorio Gui

Recorded: 10–11.X.1955, Teatro del Opera, Rome

Producer: David Bicknell - Balance engineer: Harold Davidson P 1995*

Giuseppe Verdi 1813–1901

5 O tu, Palermo (I vespri siciliani, Act II) 4.07

Philharmonia Orchestra / Wilhelm Schüchter

Recorded: 18.III.1952, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London

Producer: Walter Legge - Balance engineer: Douglas Larter P 1995*

6 Sperate, o figli!...D’Egitto là sui lidi (Nabucco, Act I) 4.55

7 Oh, chi piange?...Del futuro nel buio discerno (Nabucco, Act III) 4.46

Coro e Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma / Vittorio Gui

Recorded: 11, 20.X.1955, Teatro del Opera, Rome

Producer: David Bicknell - Balance engineer: Harold Davidson P 1995*

8 Che mai vegg’io!...Infelice!...L’offeso onor (Ernani, Act I) 6.44

Philharmonia Orchestra / Anatole Fistoulari

Recorded: 6.III.1951, Kingsway Hall, London

Producer: Walter Legge - Balance engineer: Douglas Larter P 1995*

9 A te l’estremo addio...Il lacerto spirito (Simon Boccanegra, Prologue) 5.52

Coro e Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma / Vittorio Gui

Recorded: 10, 19.X.1955, Teatro del Opera, Rome

Producer: David Bicknell - Balance engineer: Harold Davidson P 1995*

10 Ella giammi m’amò (Don Carlo, Act IV) 9.17

Philharmonia Orchestra / Herbert von Karajan

Recorded: 28.XI.1949, Kingsway Hall, London

Producer: Walter Legge - Balance engineer: Douglas Larter P 1995*

11 Il santo nome di Dio (La forza del destino, Act II) 6.52

Coro e Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma / Vittorio Gui

Recorded: 20.X.1955, Teatro del Opera, Rome

Producer: David Bicknell - Balance engineer: Harold Davidson P 1995*

Arrigo Boito 1842–1918

12 Ave Signor! (Mefistofele, Prologue) 3.52

13 Son lo spirito che nega (Mefistofele, Act I) 3.50

Philharmonia Orchestra / Wilhelm Schüchter

Recorded: 20.V & ?.XII.1949, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London

Producer: Walter Legge - Balance engineer: Arthur Clarke P 1995*

CD 11

Charles Gounod 1818–1893

Faust

1 Le veau d’or est toujours debout (Act II) 2.06

2 Qu’attendez-vous encore?… Vous qui faites l’endormie (Serenade, Act IV) 4.04

Nicolai Gedda tenor

Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra / André Cluytens

Recorded: 23.IX–9.X.1958, Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Paul Vavasseur P 2003* STEREO

Christoph Willibald Gluck

3 Decidesti il suo destin...Con le mie guardie… O tu la cosa mia più cara 10.34

(Iphigénie en Aulide, Act 2)

Giuseppe Verdi

4 Uldino! Non hai veduto?...Mentre gonfiarsi l’anima (Attila, Act 1) 5.50

Philharmonia Orchestra / Jerzy Semkow

Recorded: IV.1963, Kingsway Hall, London

Producer: Peter Andry - Balance engineer: Robert Gooch P 1964/1988* STEREO

5 Delle faci festanti al barlume (Simon Boccanegra, Act III) 7.03

Tito Gobbi baritone

Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma / Gabriele Santini

Recorded: 25–30.IX.1957, Teatro dell’Opera, Rome

Producers: David Bicknell, Victor Olof - Balance engineer: Harold Davidson P 1990* MONO

6 Restate! Presso alla mia persona (Don Carlo, Act I) 12.52

Tito Gobbi baritone

Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma / Gabriele Santini

Recorded: 5–9, 11–14.X.1954, Teatro dell’Opera, Rome

Producers: David Bicknell - Balance engineer: Harold Davidson P 1993* MONO

Mikhail GLinka

A Life for the Tsar

7 Susanin’s Aria: They begin to guess the truth! (Act IV) 5.45

8 Recitative: Not so long ago, at home (Act IV) 7.11

9 Death of Susanin (Act IV) 3.54

Belgrade Opera Chorus chorus master Oscar Danon

Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux / Igor Markevitch

Recorded: 28.XI–18.XII.1957, Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Walter Ruhlmann P 2013* EMI Music France MONO

Alexander Borodin

Prince Igor (compl. Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov)

10 Duet of Prince Galitsky and Yaroslavna (Act I) 6.23

Julia Wiener soprano

Orchestra of the National Opera Theatre of Sofia / Jerzy Semkow

Recorded: V.1966, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Paul Vavasseur P 1967/1990* STEREO

Modest Mussorgsky

Boris Godunov (rev. Rimsky-Korsakov)

11 Boris’s Prayer (Prologue) 3.27

12 Clock Scene (Act II) 3.59

13 Death of Boris (Act IV) 5.05

Anna Alexieva mezzo-soprano (13)

Chorus of the National Opera of Sofia

Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / André Cluytens

Recorded: 4–6, 12–15 & 17–21.IX.1962, Salle Wagram, Paris

Producer: René Challan - Balance engineer: Robert Gooch P 1963/2002* STEREO

Boris Christoff bass

Christoff was born in Plovdiv on 18 May 1914. Educated as a lawyer, he was heard by the King of Bulgaria while singing with the famous Gusla Choir and at the behest of the King in 1942 he was granted a scholarship to study singing. He moved to Rome and for several years his teacher there was the baritone Riccardo Stracciari. He made his operatic debut in 1946 as Colline in La bohème in Reggio di Calabria, where his singing of the Coat Song in the last act earned two encores.

Although not a particularly large man, Christoff’s magnetic stage presence and piercing eyes made him always the centre of attention on stage, and he exerted command and authority not only over his fellow performers but on the audience as well. His rich, sonorous voice was compact and perfectly focused and, like his physical presence, made its effect in every part of the theatre. His performances as Tsar Boris were not declamatory in the normal sense, but their intensity drew everyone in his audience right down to him on the stage. Every word was clear, every gesture meaningful and every note unforgettable. One might also say that the dark, resonant timbre of his voice was unmistakable and that the sheer emotional intensity of his performances has never been surpassed.

Christoff’s perfectly controlled Slavic voice was ideally suited to the Russian repertoire, especially the roles particularly associated with Chaliapin. He was also ideal for a number of Verdi bass parts, notably Philip II (Don Carlo), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino), Procida (I vespri siciliani) and Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), but his repertoire covered a wide range of other Italian roles and a few French ones as well, particularly Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust. His German roles included Rocco (Fidelio), King Mark (Tristan und Isolde), Hagen (Götterdämmerung) and Gurnemanz (Parsifal). His concert repertoire also ranged widely, taking in the main composers of the Russian Romantic era, and this survey of Christoff’s art on record begins with what the writer John Steane remarked ‘may well constitute his prime contribution to recorded music and his supreme claim upon the enduring gratitude of musicians at large’, namely the complete songs of Mussorgsky. When first released on LP in 1958, the set was a milestone.

On Discs 4–8 of this set Christoff surveys the remainder of Russian art-song with the most intimate fusion of text and music – a power of advocacy unmatched by other singer on record, even the great Chaliapin.

CD 9 covers Christoff’s main Russian stage roles. These are recordings made in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra between 1949 and 1952 when Christoff was still at the beginning of his career, but already a fully developed and mature artist.

The final CD ranges right across Christoff’s operatic repertoire, with arias by Gounod (Faust) and Gluck (Iphigenia in Aulis), as well as Verdi, including the two great scenes from Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlo in which Christoff and Gobbi strike dramatic sparks off each other. In both cases, Christoff portrays with immense dignity and command the elderly figure of authority (Fiesco and King Philip II) and Gobbi is the young firebrand (Simon Boccanegra and Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa) confronting the older man. The remaining tracks return us to Russian opera and some of Christoff’s greatest roles, starting with Ivan Susanin in Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar. Finally, we hear three extracts from the 1962 stereo recording of Boris Godunov conducted by André Cluytens: firstly Boris’s Prayer from the prologue, where he has finally agreed to become Tsar. Later in the opera a chiming clock terrifies him and he begs God’s mercy on his guilty soul, and finally we hear again Boris’s death scene.

EMI Classics 11cds 6829372

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs. 

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